Tim Love has posted a positive and thought-provoking review of Inventing truth on his Lit Refs Reviews blog, expressing doubts about my constant brevity and use of syllabics, yet also very much enjoying certain poems. He states that "they have the Larkinesque lift that gives the reader the escape velocity to be launched beyond the text."
I always relish reading his pieces, as they pull no punches and state clear views, enabling me to react and reassess my views of the poetry in question. In this case, of course, my feelings are intensified because he's dealing with my own book!
I was especially intrigued by his conviction that "nostalgia...comes through in many pieces." This led me to my dictionary in search of a definition:
"Sentimental yearning for a period of the past; wistful memory of an earlier time".
For me, the key words here are "sentimental" and "wistful" - one of my main aims is to avoid both in my treatment of the past and the U.K.. I'm all too aware that these feelings are typical in many ex-pats and I'm thus determined to dodge such a trap. What's more, I believe the added perspective of Spain casts an extra ambiguity and ambivalence over my memories, rather than lending them a rose-tinted hue. "Nostalgia" is the last word I'd use to describe my work!
This leaves me with a key doubt: why does Love invoke the term? In other words, I've discovered an intrinsic value to such a generously forthright review. I'll now reread Inventing truth in the light of his remarks. Whether I agree or disagree with his views of the book, they'll provide a wonderful basis for further thought. I'm extremely thankful to him!
Over the last few blog posts I haven’t made much mention of my writing, or what my living, breathing poems are getting up out there in the real world. What...